Posts Tagged ‘Brian Michael Bendis’

Daredevil #81

October 17, 2014

Daredevil 081Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2006
*****

This brilliant run’s end—Murdock remanded w/o bail to Rikers, pending trial—subverts the genre’s expectation of illusory change, which would demand his acquital. The radical penalty undermines the naïve virtue at the core of pulp vigilantes & leaves the next creative team w/ plenty of material!

last issue: Daredevil #80
next issue: Daredevil #82

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
Young Avengers #10

Advertisements

Daredevil #80

October 16, 2014

Daredevil 080Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2006
****

Part 2 of the big action finale, #80 features a streetfight btw ninjas & Feds! Maleev’s work on DD has possessed great physicality & expressive bodies. Mostly that’s added levels to his writer’s dialogue, but it’s also helped him to stage great scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Then… Matt surrenders!

last issue: Daredevil #79
next issue: Daredevil #81

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Daredevil #79

October 15, 2014

Daredevil 079Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2006
*****

To catch DD, a zealous FBI chief bargains w/ Fisk & ignores the mortal cost to bystanders (& Bullseye, creamed by a bus). It’s a new wrinkle on legal vigilantism. But the sight of the Kingpin—imprisoned, unindicted & unlawyered—owes more to Hannibal Lector than to the reality of W’s War on Terror.

last issue: Daredevil #78
next issue: Daredevil #80

also indexed for Jan. ’06
The Pulse #12
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

Daredevil #78

October 14, 2014

Daredevil 078Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
December 2005
*****

This mag’s innate contradiction—a lawyer with an extra-legal identity—gets put to the test. W/ the feds about to acquire proof of his double-life, the protag must choose to fight as Murdock or Daredevil. It’s thrilling & dangerous: mishandling the denouement could break the character irrevocably.

last issue: Daredevil #77
next issue: Daredevil #79

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Daredevil #77

October 13, 2014

Daredevil 077Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
November 2005
****

As Matt reconnects w/ his ex-wife, his ex-Gfs & his protégé learn that his secret ID has been compromised. #77 may not pass the Bechdel Test, but it does have a woman in every scene & more women than men in its cast. Bendis deserves a note for that in a genre devoted to machismo.

last issue: Daredevil #76
next issue: Daredevil #78

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
The Pulse #11
Young Avengers #8

Daredevil #76

October 12, 2014

Daredevil 076Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
October 2005
****

In its final arc, the Bendis/Maleev run comes full circle: w/ DD’s alter ego in the headlines. This time, the Kingpin’s identified him, part of a bargain with the feds. It dramatizes last ish’s view that systems (of law & crime) don’t want to change, despite the work of community-supported individuals.

last issue: Daredevil #75
next issue: Daredevil #77

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Iron Man #4
Young Avengers #7

Daredevil #75

October 11, 2014

Daredevil 075Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2005
*****

In a twist, this arc digs at the title char’s mystic-ninja roots, as he hunts a Japanese demon & its ex-ninja master. It’d seem like a digression, except that #75 lays out the core of this run. Matt confesses to a “DD-incident support group” that he’s replaced Kingpin—to effect true civic change.

last issue: Daredevil #74
next issue: Daredevil #76

also indexed for Sept. ’05
The Pulse #10
Young Avengers #6

Daredevil #74

October 10, 2014

Daredevil 074Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2005
****

One great facet of this innovative DD run is its non-linear plotting. BMB flashes back to the “skipped year” pre-#56, finally showing Matt’s wedding to Milla. The maid-of-honor, coincidentally, is a bereaved mom whose kid killed herself after a Daredevil incident. Great ish, but too many splashes.

last issue: Daredevil #73
next issue: Daredevil #75

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Young Avengers #5

Daredevil #73

October 9, 2014

Daredevil 073Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2005
****

This arc—set amongst a church basement support group—turns unexpectedly from pulp crime to weird tales. The wife of a serial rapist/murderer captured by DD is met w/ rage & disbelief when she claims she saw a demon homunculus perched on his sholder. The weirdest tale of Bendis’ run, by far.

last issue: Daredevil #72
next issue: Daredevil #74

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Daredevil #72

October 8, 2014

Daredevil 072Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2005
*****

Hell’s Kitchen, often mere scenery, is especially vivid in this arc. In a church basement, a support group meets for folks rescued by the local hero. It’s an ingenious frame for done-in-one crime plots—like that of an arsonist’s son (& new father himself) who’s asked to set a bomb.

last issue: Daredevil #71
next issue: Daredevil #73

also indexed for Jun. ’05
Young Avengers #3

Daredevil #71

October 7, 2014

Daredevil 071Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2005
*****

This five-issue arc features eye-grabbing covers: DD silhouettes & telegraph-ready versions of the Ten Commandments—or five, anyway. The art in #71 is also exceptional, even by Maleev’s standards: slightly scratchier & unfocused to imply a flashback related during a super-victim church support group.

last issue: Daredevil #70
next issue: Daredevil #72

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Daredevil #70

October 6, 2014

Daredevil 070Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
April 2005
****

Two fight sequences anchor the finale to this arc (one of the few in this entire run of decompression to feel overlong—at 5 issues!). A G-woman spars w/ DD atop a rooftop then saves his ass from a bloodthirsty nonagenarian hopped up on super-pills.

last issue: Daredevil #69
next issue: Daredevil #71

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Young Avengers #1

Daredevil #69

October 5, 2014

Daredevil 069Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2005
****

In parallel w/ DD’s early-career takedown of a cape-killing mafioso, this arc tells an origin story: a new White Tiger, niece to the late original. A flashback to the chop-socky era ties into the run’s meta-analysis of the super-vigilante genre, but isn’t a love of legacy more DC than Marvel?

last issue: Daredevil #68
next issue: Daredevil #70

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Daredevil #68

October 4, 2014

Daredevil 068Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2005
****

This arc shifts focus from the frame (a paroled crime-boss has the Gladiator torture Matt) to the plot’s substance, as DD trains a new superhero (rarity: a Latina!). His Silver-Age confidence contrasts w/ her modern self-doubt—a device, like the conscious use of retro art, from A. Moore’s playbook.

last issue: Daredevil #67
next issue: Daredevil #69

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Iron Man #2

Daredevil #67

October 3, 2014

Daredevil 067Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2005
****

Bendis braids 3 timelines: the WW2-era rise of a crime boss, his New Frontier fall, & current vengeance. It doesn’t fit Marvel’s sliding timeline, but it offers a long perspec on the genre’s relationship to law & violence. The dialog & art retain creative individuality while capturing each period.

last issue: Daredevil #66
next issue: Daredevil #68

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Daredevil #66

October 2, 2014

Daredevil 066Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
December 2004
*****

This arc retcons a new crimeboss into old NYC. He’s inserted into Marvel’s Golden Age ’40s, when he took over Lucky Luciano’s territory financed by Nazi diamonds. Then he got jailed by DD, back in the Orlando era of this mag. Maleev plays w/ texture, using b/w for the ’40s & benday dots for the ’60s.

last issue: Daredevil #65
next issue: Daredevil #67

also indexed for Dec. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #6

Daredevil #65

October 1, 2014

Daredevil 065Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Golden, Greg Horn, P. Craig Russell, Phil Hester, Chris Bachalo, and Alex Maleev
late November 2004
**

It’s meant to celebrate the titular hero’s 40th anniversary (& the creative team’s 3-year mark), but #65 reads like a fill-in. For one thing, Maleev’s only contribution is the final episode, a **** scene that sets up the K’pin’s predecessor, now free from Rikers. For another, the rest of the ish adds & revises prior scenes in this run w/o adding to them, & tosses in a few context-free pin-ups.

last issue: Daredevil #64
next issue: Daredevil #66

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5
Daredevil #64
The Pulse #5

Daredevil #64

September 30, 2014

Daredevil 064Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early November 2004
*****

Rather than punch their foes (a crime boss & a hitman), the Devil & the Widow call in the authorities (cops, SHIELD). This spy arc is esp fine, a Cold War web w/ BW’s “late” husband at the center! It prefigures Brubaker’s run on Captain America, & works far better than Bendis’ Secret War misfire.

last issue: Daredevil #63
next issue: Daredevil# 65

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5
Daredevil #65
The Pulse #5

Daredevil #63

September 29, 2014

Daredevil 063Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
October 2004
****

Maleev & Bendis capture perfectly the Widow’s moral codes & bonds of attachment, her Emma Peel sexiness, even a slight Russian twist to her English. She steals the issue, fending off a yuppie assassin—another “realistic” foe for the mag—hired by the CIA to target her, Murdock & innocent bystanders.

last issue: Daredevil #62
next issue: Daredevil #64

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Secret War #3 of 5

Daredevil #62

September 28, 2014

Daredevil 062Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2004
****

A Punisher foe (a goon w/ an ugly mug) wants to give the new kingpin his cut—but Matt refuses, natch. Bendis really uses the law office well! Meanwhile, Maleev does incred work, w/ abstract shapes turning into facial expressions. Props too to colorist Hollingsworth, working in black, white, & red.

last issue: Daredevil #61
next issue: Daredevil #63

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
The Pulse #4
Thanos #12

Daredevil #61

September 27, 2014

Daredevil 061Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2004
*****

Black Widow, hunted by the State Dept (who wants her as currency in internat’l politics), makes headlines w/ DD rather than lying low. Far more interesting than a mere femme fatale, BW delivers a jolt to an already robust mag! Maleev, for one, seems looser, deepening his focus in fascinating ways.

last issue: Daredevil #60
next issue: Daredevil #62

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Thanos #11

Daredevil #60

September 26, 2014

Daredevil 060Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2004
****

DD & his pals toss a Yakuza club & run it out of town. The pulpy violent core of this arc proves this superb run is less interested in subverting the trope of vigilantism than in pushing its envelope. For that, see the subplot: the hero’s wife leaves him, a personal loss given a noirish pathos.

last issue: Daredevil #59
next issue: Daredevil #61

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
The Pulse #3
Secret War #2 of 5
Thanos #10

Daredevil #59

September 25, 2014

Daredevil 059Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2004
*****

The G-man gets taken out by Yakuza right on Center Street! Meanwhile, Ben Urich joins the growing chorus who say that Karen Page’s death has driven DD to self-destructive behavior. Breaking a character’s psyche = a brilliant take on the difficulty of superhero writers to alter a mag’s status quo.

last issue: Daredevil #58
next issue: Daredevil #60

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Thanos #9

Daredevil #58

September 24, 2014

Daredevil 058Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2004
****

Bendis springs a big twist: in the gap btw #50 & #56, Matt secretly married Milla D! But his real talent is for writing B. Urich, a man of integrity. He uses the char’s ability to trudge into the urban depths to add breadth and angles of approach (like a nurse to vigilantes) to his tale.

last issue: Daredevil #57
next issue: Daredevil #59

also indexed for May ’04
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #7
Thanos #8

Daredevil #57

September 23, 2014

Daredevil 057Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
April 2004
****

Not the most interesting issue in the Bendis/Maleev run (tho still v.g.). Maleev draws a rainy-night streetfight btw Murdock & a hundred Yakuza; some of the pages are great, others are boring widescreen layouts. The script has newshound Urich narrating, but he doesn’t always connect to the action.

last issue: Daredevil #56
next issue: Daredevil #58

also indexed for Apr. ’04
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Secret War #1 of 5

Daredevil #56

September 22, 2014

Daredevil 056Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2004
*****

Interlude over; a year has passed. DD has cleaned Hell’s Kitchen & NYC of crime—at the expense of other boroughs, notes Luke Cage in a cunning dialectic on the run’s theme of urban vigilantism. It also echoes the city’s real disputes over gentrification & crime rates during Bloomberg’s mayorality.

last issue: Daredevil #55
next issue: Daredevil #57

also indexed for Mar. ’04
New X-Men #151
New X-Men #152

Daredevil #50

September 16, 2014

Daredevil 050Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
with Gene Colan, Klaus Janson, David Mack, Michael Avon Oeming, Joe Quesada, John Romita, & Lee Weeks
October 2003
*****

Bendis’ first-act climax sees a rollcall of DD artists contribute a page. Matt M savages Fisk and, mask off, declares himself the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen! But are overwhelming force & violence the tools of a hero? BMB mirrors, among other things, the rhetoric & action of the Bush Presidency.

last issue: Daredevil #49
next issue: Daredevil #51

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
New X-Men #145

Daredevil #49

September 15, 2014

Daredevil 049Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2003
****

Another round of Daredevil v. Bullseye. Tho’ Bendis plots cleverly & his dialog has a pro’s sheen, it’s hard to tell how ironically he treats violence. The hero scars his opponent’s face w/ a brickbat—is that supposed to be awful or cool? Maleev edges it towards the former, w/ horror-movie angles.

last issue: Daredevil #48
next issue: Daredevil #50

also indexed for Sept. ’03
Alias #24
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men #144

Daredevil #48

September 14, 2014

Daredevil 048Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2003
****

Jess Jones & Luke Cage rescue Matt & Milla from Typhoid Mary. Great action scene, but note how the weirdo gets battered & insulted by the pretty folks. BMB’s Mary is a letdown: Typhoid as seductive dom is long gone, replaced by nutty nonsense & ultraviolence. His love for superheroes is a blind spot.

last issue: Daredevil #47
next issue: Daredevil #49

also indexed for Aug. ’03
Alias #23
New X-Men #142
New X-Men #143s

Daredevil #47

September 13, 2014

Daredevil 047Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2003
*****

We follow the $ from buyer to dealer to gangster to Kingpin, as he re-consolidates his hold in a nice burst of cynicism & the blades of Typhoid Mary. Maleev has done A-1 work updating her punk look by JR Jr. He also stages her fight scene w/ finesse, tho’ it says nothing about her character.

last issue: Daredevil #46
next issue: Daredevil #48

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
New X-Men #141

Daredevil #46

September 12, 2014

Daredevil 046Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2003
****

BMB gets meta with his televisual style, opening #46 with a woman acting in a soap opera. It’s Typhoid Mary, sexy schizo assassin of Nocenti’s run, whose worst qualities were inflated by ’90s kewl. Here TM reflects DD’s multiple IDs, a facet that his new g’friend is simult attracted by & wary of.

last issue: Daredevil #45
next issue: Daredevil #47

also indexed for Jun. ’03
Alias #21
New X-Men #139
New X-Men #140

Daredevil #45

September 11, 2014

Daredevil 045Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2003
****

Readers jonesing for a slugfest get their fix this ish, as DD helps the Feds snag the Owl, heir apparent to the Kingpin’s criminal empire. It offers Maleev the chance to break from his standard grid & indulge in almost Sienkowicz-level expressionism, staging the combat as a brutal, bloody beatdown.

last issue: Daredevil #44
next issue: Daredevil #46

also indexed for May ’03
Alias #20
New X-Men #138

Daredevil #44

September 10, 2014

Daredevil 044Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late April 2003
****

Unlike many decompressed ’00s comics, Bendis’ influential DD only sporadically sags due to pacing. But this issue doesn’t move its plot forward (tho’ it nudges the romantic subplot btw Matt & a blind woman). It also returns to the TV setting of a police interrogation room w/o much effect.

last issue: Daredevil #43
next issue: Daredevil #45

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #43
New X-Men #137

Daredevil #43

September 9, 2014

Daredevil 043Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early April 2003
*****

At its strongest, this run offers a 21C take on pop-comics’ core concept of the urban vigilante; #43 centers on a debate over its scope & validity. Luke Cage, orig. a ’70s super-riff on blaxploitation, propounds localism. DD can’t accept that limit, since he knows how corrupt the whole system is.

last issue: Daredevil #42
next issue: Daredevil #44

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #44
New X-Men #137

Daredevil #42

September 8, 2014

Daredevil 042Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late March 2003
*****

Double-ship month! A hyperviolent criminal has organized crime w/ a mutant variation on HGH that temporarily gives normal folks superpowers. It’s a brilliant addition to the Marvel U., useful for any writer who wants (a) a one-off supervillain, or (b) a comics-y variation on the classic PSA theme.

last issue: Daredevil #41
next issue: Daredevil #43

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
New X-Men #136

Daredevil #41

September 7, 2014

Daredevil 041Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early March 2003
*****

Back to the regular creative team. The power vacuum left by the K’pin’s near-murder is filled by the Owl, a Silver-Age mutant that BMB portrays as a psycho. But the ish’s extra touch of genius is Stilt-Man, now retired, who notes that DD/MM is the true kingpin—the malev force driving all NYC crime.

last issue: Daredevil #40
next issue: Daredevil #42

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #42
New X-Men #136

Daredevil #40

September 6, 2014

Daredevil 040Brian Michael Bendis // Terry Dodson
February 2003
**

The White Tiger arc feels appendictal to Bendis’ run, but it’s actually a key to his Ditko-esque view of superheroism. A D-list vigilante gets found guilty; his confused death is a scapegoat sacrifice by the press & legal system—those “democratic” structures that hold the gifted individual back!

last issue: Daredevil #39
next issue: Daredevil #41

also indexed for Feb. ’03
Alias #17
New X-Men #135

Daredevil #39

September 5, 2014

Daredevil 039Brian Michael Bendis // Manuel Gutierrez
January 2003
****

TV’s influence on Bendis has never been more obvious. #39 is a courtroom drama—w/ guest stars, witness-stand confessionals, a prosecutor out for blood, & preposterous legalities—but it’s executed superbly. Gutierrez’s style & colorful tone makes this ish a precurser to Waid’s run w/ Samnee et al.

last issue: Daredevil #38
next issue: Daredevil #40

also indexed for Jan. ’03
Alias #16
New X-Men #134

Daredevil #38

September 4, 2014

Daredevil 038Brian Michael Bendis // Manuel Gutierrez
December 2002
***

Pawn shop, dead cop, a Latino superhero arrested in the Bronx. Bendis exploits Marvel’s kung fu catalog for a more diverse, street-savvy cast. Maleev takes five, w/ an unknown on pencils & a much lighter tone. It’s not a great fit, since Bendis is aiming for realism rather than tights & fights.

last issue: Daredevil #38
next issue: Daredevil #40

also indexed for Dec. ’02
Alias #15
New X-Men #133

Daredevil #37

September 3, 2014

Daredevil 037Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
November 2002
*****

Hardball negotiations fit oddly into a superhero mag (even one w/ a lawyer protag), tho they stage conflict as surely as any fistfight. They also cast Murdock in a new sort of antiheroic light, since his tactics include scaring a witness—a federal agent, no less—into withdrawing his testimony.

last issue: Daredevil #36
next issue: Daredevil #38

also indexed for Nov. ’02
Alias #14
New X-Men #132

Daredevil #36

September 2, 2014

Daredevil 036Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
October 2002
*****

Murdock denies his secret ID as DD; V. Fisk skips town, creating a power vacuum; ex-GF Black Widow visits the law firm incognito, where she’s treated like a superheroics enabler—not exactly inaccurate either! Incidentally, check Alias #15 for a Rosencranz/Guildenstern perspec of Matt’s bodyguards.

last issue: Daredevil #35
next issue: Daredevil #37

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

Daredevil #35

September 1, 2014

Daredevil 035Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2002
****

Action fans finally get a dust-up—and a team-up! DD & Spidey v. Mr. Hyde, a Kirby bruiser that Murdock’s faced in the courtroom. The fight’s ratio of panels-to-punches, however, points up just how slow this creative team’s trend-setting style of cinematic comics can be. And the ish ends on a tease…

last issue: Daredevil #34
next issue: Daredevil #36

also indexed for Sept. ’02
Alias #11
Alias #12
Avengers #56
New X-Men #129

Daredevil #34

August 31, 2014

Daredevil 034Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2002
****

Murdock’s friends muddy the water to defend his career, while Matt himself gets chewed out by Foggy. Maleev knows how to pace Bendis’ zippy dialogue, but at times, his reliance on copy/paste makes the background characters look frozen & robotic. He’s experimenting w/ computers & art, a key to Y2K comics.

last issue: Daredevil #33
next issue: Daredevil #35

also indexed for Aug. ’02
Alias #10
Avengers #55
New X-Men #127
New X-Men #128

Daredevil #33

August 30, 2014

Daredevil 033Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2002
****

In a couple moving scenes, Matt & Foggy debate a defense to Matt’s “outing” as a superhero; days earlier, an underpaid G-man sells Matt’s ID to the tabloids. Maleev maintains his style, where scratchy lines vary in weight to A+ effect, while Bendis continues his playful approach to chronology.

last issue: Daredevil #32
next issue: Daredevil #35

also indexed for Jul. ’02
Alias #9
Avengers #54
New X-Men #126

Daredevil #32

August 29, 2014

Daredevil 032Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2002
****

A review of the last six issues, from the POV of the FBI. It has the whiff of set-up for more twists AWA showing the creative’s team general talent. Together, they’re working the ground broken by Miller & Mazz—not in DD but in Batman: Year 1: street-level cop’n’crime comics with real urban grit.

last issue: Daredevil #31
next issue: Daredevil #33

also indexed for Jun. ’02
Alias #8
Avengers #53
New X-Men #125

Daredevil #31

August 28, 2014

Daredevil 031Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2002
****

Vanessa Fisk takes over by killing her husband’s killers, incl her own son! Bendis takes existing points—DD’s open secret of an ID, K’pin’s blindness—and spins an unexpected yet inevitable twist. Maleev advances upon the photo-tracing style of Alex Ross by scanning, inking, & smudging backgrounds.

last issue: Daredevil #30
next issue: Daredevil #32

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
Avengers #52
New X-Men #124

Daredevil #30

August 27, 2014

Daredevil 030Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
April 2002
****

DD’s secret ID is common knowledge in the underworld. It’s a smart development, but the real plot engine is Kingpin’s blindness, a weakness that leaves him open to a generational coup. Bendis’ chronology leapfrogs all over; that & excellently structured scenes disguise the slow pace of this arc.

last issue: Daredevil #29
next issue: Daredevil #31

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51
New X-Men #123

Daredevil #29

August 26, 2014

Daredevil 029Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2002
****

#29 spotlights a mob capo who wants a piece of the action & conspires to oust the Kingpin & kill Murdock for his shystering, which is hurting business. Bendis wears his cinema influences heavily, w/ Tarantino-style anecdotes & non-linear storytelling set atop a Scorcese setting of seedy NYC crime.

last issue: Daredevil #28
next issue: Daredevil #30

also indexed for Mar. ’02
Alias #5
Avengers #50
New X-Men #122

Daredevil #28

August 25, 2014

Daredevil 028Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2002
****

This mag’s entry into Marvel’s all-silent month showcases Maleev’s talents. The mob has put a hit out on Matt M, which leads to his alter ego beating on assassins. AM’s photorealism uses panels cannily to show action & movement. BMB, however, relies on knowledge of DD’s backstory for full effect.

last issue: Daredevil #27
next issue: Daredevil #29

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
Avengers #49
New X-Men #122

Daredevil #27

August 24, 2014

Daredevil 027Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2002
*****

The mob action that surrounds the now-blind K’pin mimics the goomba lowlifes of The Sopranos; in another thread, a rookie cop panics & opens fire when he spies DD. The weird intrusion of a masked super-avenger into cop/crook tropes gives the mag a whole new layer of realism & archetypal power.

last issue: Daredevil #26
next issue: Daredevil #28

also indexed for Jan. ’02
Alias #3
Avengers #48
New X-Men #120